April poetry month

Made a wonderful visit south of San Francisco, to Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, and to Pacifica, where I wrote this poem:

Pacifica pier: Fisherfolk, buoys,

Two lines per person.

Shadows along the sand, rock: serpentine, chert –

Long-billed curlews, ravens, gulls pick in the surf –

Sand fleas pick at my jacket,

Strong wind lifts the brim of my hat.

The surf, violent spill of foam

Renders the sand pearl.

Out on the pier, for a moment the foam blinds, all there is,

As if you are moving, on a boat, along the water.

Brown current, spiderweb of foam,

Devil’s Slide all the way to the south.

A gull I could reach out and touch,

Buffeted still by the wind, fetch miles long over open water.

Mt. Tam all the way to the north,

A shade in the distance.


Waves’ energy, not the water itself,

Moves to shore, all this eventually

Reduced to a tideless leak.

Or sneaker waves carry you out to sea.

Pelicans, flying close over water,

Sense thrumming life in the ocean’s deep heart beneath the waves.

Pier throbs with thunderous swell,

As if we’re all alive in the sea.

Out to sea, all fog fades to mist in the distance,

Kelp unmoored from the seafloor below.

To turn your back on the sea (which you should never do)

Is to dream the green, flowered hills beyond.

Then there are the waves receding away from you –

There, to the far shore, more behind you than ahead.

Where the water breaks, the tideline

A sea of snow, stretching all the way down the shore.

Disturbing forces – tides, wind – lift the waves,

Restoring forces – gravity – pull them, falling, back to earth.

Swells rise and seem to lift the pier,

Thunk! waves hit pier pilings.

Pelicans fall, dwarfed in the wake,

Murre, tern, auklet, orphaned in the waves.

Photo by Gary Kong


About thislittleplot

Writer, hiker, loafer
This entry was posted in Birds, Literature, Local Area Hikes and trips, Nature, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to April poetry month

  1. Beautiful… Love Fitzgerald

  2. tara linda says:

    Beautiful images… aah, a gorgeous day at the beach…
    I love just this magical area.Thank you for reminding me why ;)

  3. Utherben says:

    Every month should be poetry month! Thanks so much for posting this one, I can feel the rhythms of the waves while reading it.

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